Jeff Bezos donated $ 100 million to help Feeding America during the coronavirus pandemic, days after a manager in one of his Amazon warehouses claimed he was fired for taking part in a dangerous working strike during the outbreak.
Bezos announced the news on Instagram on Thursday and told followers the decision came because food bank volunteers are busier than ever and are putting their own safety at stake.
He added that the donation would go directly to providing more food, as the usual donations from hospitality businesses were in short supply due to the forced closure of restaurants to meet social distortions across the country.
“Even in ordinary times, food insecurity in American households is a major concern, and unfortunately COVID-19 amplifies that stress significantly,” Bezos explains. “Non-profit food banks and food pantries depend to a large extent on food surpluses from various food companies. For example, many restaurants donate excess food. But in this age of social distance, restaurants are closed and many other normal channels of excess food are also closed. ‘
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the news on Instagram on Thursday, telling followers the decision came because food bank volunteers are busier than ever
The donation goes directly to providing more food, as the usual catering donations are scarce due to the forced closure of restaurants
“Today I want to support those on the front lines of our country’s food banks and those who rely on them for food with a $ 100 million gift,” he posted on Instagram
“To make matters worse, as the supply decreases, the demand for food banking services increases,” he added.
Bezos, the richest man in the world with a net worth of $ 120.4 billion, asked others to consider sharing their wealth with the charity.
He explained that as a result of the disease, which had killed more than 5,850 Americans on Thursday evening, more and more families would rely on food bank donations.
“Today, I would like to support those on the front lines of our country’s food banks and those who rely on them for food with a $ 100 million gift to @FeedingAmerica,” Bezos continued in the social media post. Feeding America will quickly distribute the funds across their national network of food banks and pantries, bringing food to the countless families who need it.
Chris Smalls, 31, organized the strike after working for Amazon for five years. He was fired for coming to the New York facility when he should have been quarantined, Amazon said
Feeding America is the largest non-profit organization focused on food security. Millions of Americans turn to food banks during this period. If you want to help, the link to Feeding America is in my bio. They would be enthusiastic and grateful for donations of any size. ‘
His announcement came after Feeding America shared Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and president of Emerson Collective, and Apple helped launch America’s Food Fund with “an extraordinary gift of $ 12 million.”
It benefits World Central Kitchen and helps feed the most vulnerable populations of the country affected by COVID-19, including children who depend on school lunch programs, low-income families, the elderly, and those with job disorders.
Oprah Winfrey also announced on Thursday that she was donating $ 1 million to Feeding America and $ 10 million in total to help Americans during the crisis.
This week, Bezos was criticized after father-of-three, Chris Smalls, 31, a management assistant at the Staten Island, New York, facility was fired after Monday’s strike. He worked for the company for five years.
An estimated 50 to 60 workers took part in the strike at the facility and demanded that it be shut down and cleaned after one worker tested positive for the corona virus.
Smalls had posted on Twitter that the company was not following social distance guidelines
Smalls had posted on Twitter that the company was not taking any social distance measures.
“They pretty much retaliated for speaking up,” Smalls told the New York Post. “I don’t know how they sleep at night. ‘
“There are positive cases working in these buildings that infect thousands,” warehouse worker Smalls wrote on Twitter.
Amazon said that Small made “misleading” statements about the circumstances and that he would be quarantined and had no choice but to fire him after coming to the facility.
The company said Amazon’s resignation from Small was due to the fact that he had not complied with the company’s request to isolate himself after contacting another employee who tested positive for COVID-19.
By participating in Monday’s demonstration, he “endangered the teams. This is unacceptable, “Amazon said in a statement, noting that only 15 of the more than 5,000 workers at the site had taken part in the protest.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James called Small’s dismissal “shameful” and pointed out that the law protects workers’ right to protest.
Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon, said on Thursday that they have already hired 80,000 additional people out of a target 100,000 to meet demand and have now introduced temperature controls in warehouses
“At a time when so many New Yorkers are struggling and deeply concerned about their safety, this action was also immoral and inhumane,” she said in a statement.
James said she was investigating legal remedies and asked the National Labor Relations Board to investigate the incident.
Bezos did not directly address the controversy, but Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon, made a statement on Thursday.
“Amazon employees and partners working in our operations network and data centers are among the many heroes of the COVID-19 crisis,” Clark began.
“ Whether it’s fulfilling orders in one of our fulfillment centers, delivering an order to a customer’s door, or one of the many intermediate roles, I can’t be prouder of the crucial role our teams play in Enable people to stay safe at home while receiving the products they need.
“Nothing is more important to us than ensuring that we protect the health of our teams, and we’ve been working around the clock since the early days of the outbreak to make changes to our processes and buy the necessary resources. To date, we have made over 150 major process changes to ensure the health and safety of our teams. ‘
He said they have already hired 80,000 additional people out of a target 100,000 to meet demand and have now introduced temperature controls in warehouses.